It’s no small secret that everyone traditionally hates training. Even the trainers, who make their money on training and the need for it, will admit that large parts of the actual process are tedious. Without employee training tracking software to make analytics remain accurate while being flexible enough to support alternative models, we were all kind of stuck with the status quo, sucky as it may be.
Problems in Training:
Training in general has several obstacles to overcome, and it’s even worse when it’s corporate training of employees who already have a lot of responsibilities in their lives. It really is a mess.
See, traditionally, all we had was the Prussian classroom model still used in schools and colleges today. It was the only practical model for quite a long time, so for much of history, we had little choice but to just put up with it.
Yet, with new technologies making outside the box thinking a feasible thing, we’re left with no choice but to once again criticize the scholastic model. Lectures, drilling on fact memorization, and unpleasant judgmental letter grade scales are actually not real learning.
See, real learning is about engagement and curiosity, being faced with a problem (even if the problem is just the lack of knowledge), and using deductive reasoning and self-directed research to solve it. This is how Darwinian evolution taught us in the beginning, so it is how we are wired to learn to this day.
Thus, lectures and memorization … not so much learning as programming. I know how left wing nuts that sounds, to call education “programming”, but I mean it in the most clinical way, not political.
And of course, that letter grading scale. Starting out at one hundred percent, and descending irrecoverably from there into tiers of success is actually hard on self esteem, and puts forth a lot of pressure. It doesn’t encourage self improvement, it encourages scrambling for self preservation.
Now, the problem we still have, even with technologies allowing other learning models to drop a lot of those problems, is that the classroom model has its analytics and trainee tracking refined to an art. This is because while not people centered, it is very efficient and organized.
SaaS to Save the Day:
Well, employee training tracking software came along in the wake of the SaaS revolution, which could resolve the logistics mess of abandoning classrooms.
The LMS systems of modern days were designed not just to address these logistics issues, but to support a lot more of the otherwise impossible things which new training models called for.
With a cloud-based web infrastructure, integrating with existing channels like email, social networks and so on, these virtual classroom and course delivery systems lifted the need for everyone to be in the same place at the same time.
That of course cut out a lot of the tedium and oppression of training in a professional environment. Along with this, many of these systems support extensions or deep reconfiguring, allowing all manner of alternative learning models to be adopted, and automated.
This automation handles course, test and project delivery to students, grouping and analyzing individual or multiple students, grading and of course, tracking progress.
And there’s the real winning side of this, in our context. Analytics and logistics in most LMS systems are very generic at their cores. This is a good thing, because generic value A in the grading module can be directly tied to generic values B, C, and K in projects, individual course assignments and tests as well.
You can see, with these open tracking systems, the potential for building very structured and complete metric and statistic sets for immersive gamification, which was something we so badly needed employee training tracking software in order to fully realize.
Moodle and Blackboard are the most popular LMS offerings out there, and they’re very similar in their capacities and quality. The differentiation is with Moodle being multi-model, open-ended and much more affordable, where Blackboard is highly proprietary and rigid.
Digital training platforms aren’t new, and even the SaaS LMS model has been around for a while, but these designs are just now beginning to be pursued at great lengths and with immense effort now that the web is mature enough to be a software platform of serious caliber.
The Extra Step:
Along with LMS, there exists another technology that’s fairly new to the scene. While you must have a good LMS such as Moodle, you’d be really missing out if you didn’t look into onboarding systems like WalkMe.
These were designed to approach another learning process that’s pretty universally effective – hands on learning. Of course, in the past this required massive supervision and guidance from human beings, and most of the training had to be sandboxed versions of the software in question.
WalkMe alleviates the need for people, and the need to sandbox for practice.
It does this in a very clever way, integrating into webforms like a macro or an applet. Sitting in the form, it can see everything, such as browser states, form events and states, user patterns and so on.
Coupling this sensory and pattern recognition with a very simple scripting interface (no coding experience needed), you can create smart macros that will guide trainees, one step at a time, through simple or immensely complex tasks.
It will prompt them on where to click and what to do, prevent them from clicking or changing things they should not, and all the while, it can also capture analytics on the user.
WalkMe can capture and report how many mistakes are being made by each user, which mistakes are the most common, how much practice any given user has had, and so on. This information directly reflects the otherwise impossible to capture employee progress via hands on training.
It also supports direct integration with Moodle, allowing this hands on training, and its tracking data, to be part of a course model in Moodle natively.
Looking to the Future:
LMS and the alternate training methodologies they are enabling are just an example of a whole vast change in cultural mindset which is just starting up. We’ve barely seen the beginning of the era of change brought by the digital. A lack of location centrism, which LMS allows for training, and SaaS in general allows for all office work, will remove cubicle dwelling and allow many people to work from home.
Coupled with the mobile revolution, the future has people doing their job as they live their lives, getting the days’ work done from their PC in the morning, their laptop in the kitchen in the afternoon, their mobiles while out to lunch, and never setting foot in an office.
With these smart guidance systems like WalkMe, onboard AI will also be a common thing, becoming more and more capable and smarter. It will allow software and computing to be infinitely complex and powerful, while letting technology run itself to help the user, rather than breaking it all by dumbing it down to human levels.
That said, employee training tracking software is just a small part of the very beginning of something huge and wondrous.